Opium Den Snack

Sherlock: Mid-Case Roast Beef Sandwich

I had removed myself from the food blogging game. It was a well-needed break and I’m not incredibly certain that I’m ready to jump back in. But here I am. In the middle of (what I consider to be) political turmoil and fighting clinical depression and crippling anxiety, I am here to provide you with snarky pop culture commentary and food porn with accompanying recipes. Why am I pushing forward with this endeavor? Therapy, yo. This is what I know how to do and this has always been a huge source of my happiness. Taking it away the past few months was supposed to give me some off-time that I used for reflection and self-healing. But that sure as fuck didn’t happen. I didn’t even notice any extra time, to be honest. And things sure as hell didn’t get any better. So I see no point in continuing my boycott of the one thing I do that makes me truly happy.

That being said, let’s talk about Sherlock. It’s fitting that I’m using a Sherlock Holmes-based recipe to usher in my new era of food blogging. Not only is the BBC show, Sherlock, the epitome of what I love in a piece of media (it’s smart, it’s British and I have a huge crush on the star) but it’s based on literature. Literature that I’ve read multiple times. This gives me the perfect opportunity to be a jerk about content. And I love being a jerk. My first recipe back in the game should be such a comfortable fit for me.

That being said, let’s get down to the fact.

  • The fourth series premiered January 1st of this year.
  • The fourth series ended on January 15th of this year.
  • They did a limited theatrical release for the series finale.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch has signed on for a fifth series and it has been planned out and written, but there is still no confirmation that it will happen.
  • I have not actually watched the fourth series yet.

Now, as I had said before, I am a fan of the Arthur Conan Doyle stories. Knowing that the show was covering The Final Problem was pretty exciting. I was even going to go see it’s theatrical release, but life got in the way. If you don’t know (and I can’t spoiler because I haven’t seen it), The Final Problem is a Moriarty-heavy story. I had considered this covered in The Reichenbach Fall (the finale of series 2) as it is an adapted coverage of the event in The Final Problem, which, in the books, end in the Reichenbach waterfalls. So I’m quite excited to see how it pans out. If you know, don’t tell me!

For my recipe, I’ve decided to take what I know of the Holmes character from literature, film and television and build a sandwich out of it. Essentially, I built a beef sandwich that Holmes could throw together and eat, wrapped in newspaper, on his way to the opium den. The devil is in the ingredients though, as you’ll see. Ultimately, it’s just a delicious meal: brandy-braised rare roast beef with whole grain mustard and English cheddar. Enjoy!

Thinkin' Food

Thinkin’ Food

Sherlock’s Mid-Case Roast Beef Sandwich
1-5lb roast (a cheap cut works just fine for this), trimmed
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
1 cup brandy
1 cup beef broth
1 loaf of french bread
aged English cheddar
whole grain dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Using a Dutch oven (or something that can do both stovetop and oven), heat the olive oil of medium-high heat. Add in garlic and stir for a minute or two until light brown and fragrant. Salt and pepper your roast liberally and place firmly into heated skillet. Brown each side (a few minutes per side) until nice and brown and crusty. Remove from pan.

Melt butter in skillet. Remove from heat and add brandy and beef broth, stirring to deglaze the pan. Return to heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until reduced by about a third.

Return the beef to the pan and coat in sauce. Cover and bake in oven. Consult a time table for the level of doneness you want, specific to the weight and cut of your beef. Mine was in the oven for 25 minutes. I like mine pretty damn pink.

Pull from the oven and let rest for ten minutes. Slice and serve atop bread with a generous dollop of mustard and lots of crystal-ly cheese.

Fontina has an Ohio heart and Philly spunk. She loves giving you recipes for hearty food, pop-culture puns and a hell of a lot of craft beer. You can find her in the kitchen, at the bar, on Twitter or marathoning episodes of Shin Chan or Bob's Burgers online.

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